Microsoft Is Offering Almost $70 Billion For Activision Blizzard

It would be by far the biggest deal in the industry: Microsoft wants to take over the developer of Call of Duty and Candy Crush. The antitrust authorities still have to agree.

Microsoft wants to take over the computer game manufacturer Activision Blizzard. As the US software group announced, a total of 68.7 billion dollars is being offered for the purchase of the developer of games such as Call of Duty and Candy Crush. It would be by far the biggest deal in the industry.

Demand for video games has increased significantly since the pandemic began due to widespread lockdowns. Microsoft, which already has game studios with well-known titles such as Doom and Minecraft under its roof, would rise to the world's third-largest computer game company as a result of the deal. 

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"Gaming is the most dynamic and exciting category in the entertainment industry and will play a key role in the development of Metaverse platforms going forward," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

The so-called metaverse stands for a common virtual space in which all participants are networked and interact with each other. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is also investing billions in the business and recently renamed his company Meta Platforms.

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Microsoft hopes the acquisition will give its Xbox gaming platform greater clout and now expects to close the deal by the end of its next fiscal year, which runs through mid-2023. Even if the approval of the antitrust authorities is still pending: Microsoft's share price rose in US trading after the announcement to a good 82 dollars at times.

The software group also wants to catch up with its competitor Sony and its Playstation; Sony had recently grown strongly in this segment. However, at the same time, the business is being severely slowed down by the global bottlenecks in chips and other components. The latest generation Xbox and Playstation devices are still hard to come by more than a year after their launch.

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Allegations of sexism against employees of Activision Blizzard also made headlines. In the course of investigations, 37 employees were recently dismissed and 44 other people received warnings.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has also been criticized. Among other things, he was accused of not taking decisive action against misconduct by managers. The group was sued by the US state of California in the summer.

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